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Communications Airmen supports operations in Iraq

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kate Wetherby
  • 43rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Change is a part of life for every servicemember. Modern day Airmen are expected to confront and adapt to change every day, specifically in a deployed location, and for one communications Airman here, that challenge was a milestone in his career.

Airman 1st Class Seth Walter, 43rd Communications Squadron client systems administrator, recently returned from a deployment to Iraq.

While he was deployed, Airman Walter served as a network administrator for client systems fixing broken patches and making sure nothing interfered with the daily use of the computers and systems.

"I was deployed for more than six months, working network security, fixing patches and making sure the base was compliant with all the newest directives coming from the enterprise level," said Airman Walter.

Airman Walter added that his job downrange afforded him the opportunity to perform functions that he was originally trained for, but hasn't performed since he left technical training due to an Air Force-wide communications transition. The transition, which occurred in 2009, transferred 16 communications career fields into 11 new cyberspace support specialties. This initiative is designed to help the Air Force face the challenges of working in and protecting a cyber environment.

"Essentially I was a knowledge operator, but during my deployment I had to use the skills from both knowledge operations and client systems," explained Airman Walter.

According to Staff Sgt. Dustin Neal, Airman Walter's supervisor, if anybody was up for the challenge of combining both communications facets it was him.

"Airman Walter is a very capable technician and what he did downrange was outstanding," said Sergeant Neal. "We are happy he is home and are glad to regain a strong worker that gets the job done well."

While Airman Walter learned new things about his original career field, he also had to adapt to the differences in working with other military branches.

"I deployed with the Army, in a joint expeditionary tasking attached to an Army Signal Company," said Airman Walter. "It was an interesting experience because their rank structure is a little more rigid than what I've experienced in the Air Force so far."

Besides the difference in rank structure, Airman Walter added that working with the Army provided him with valuable insight into joint force operations. He offered a small piece of advice to any Airmen filling a JET tasking for the first time.

"Working with the Army is an awesome experience. I learned a lot about the different ways they confront issues we run into every day in this job. If you have never worked with the Army before, I encourage you to take full advantage of all the knowledge and experience they have to offer," reflected Airman Walter.